Whooping cranes spotted in Kansas wildlife refuge

STAFFORD, Kan. (AP) – Two adult whooping cranes have been spotted at a south central Kansas wildlife refuge.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the cranes’ Thursday appearance in Quivira National Wildlife Refuge near Stafford marks the beginning of their fall migration through the state.

Nearly 60 birds pass through the area each fall. The 5-foot-tall birds feed and rest in the open salt flats and wetlands before continuing migration.

The birds don’t appear every day, but sightings are scattered throughout the end of October and November.

Barry Jones is a visitor services specialist at the refuge. He says visitors shouldn’t go near the birds if they see them.

Adult whooping cranes are white with dark legs, bills and a dark red cap. The younger birds are rusty-brown in color.

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